Last Monday I attended The Sommeliers Selection 2018 tasting of the top-scoring wines at Tokara Delicatessen, driving through from Cape Town on a rainy day. My two favorites I tasted were Arra Shiraz 2015, as well as Trizanne Reserve Syrah 2017. The top wines in the tasting were selected by top Sommelier members of the South African SOmmeliers Association, and the Black Cellar Club. Continue reading →
As writers we are invited to many events. I have attended the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Awards over a number of years, but none have been as much fun as the one I attended at The Franschhoek Cellar on Thursday! Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended the Chenin Blanc Showcase, a tasting of a selection of 50 Chenin Blanc wines, at the Cape Grace Hotel. Chenin Blanc is a cultivar growing in popularity, and we tasted the different styles of Chenin Blanc. Continue reading →
* The Rand dropped to its lowest level ever yesterday, at R14 to the dollar, mainly in reaction to lower than expected growth forecast for China. The exchange rate will impact on inflation locally, but the oil price was at a 61/2 year low of $40 per barrel yesterday.
The Franschhoek Bastille Festival is one of the most popular events held in this French Huguenot village, and this weekend (11 and 12 July) Franschhoek will be decked in red, white, and blue to celebrate its French roots. Even a mini Eiffel Tower is to bring Paris to Franschhoek this year!
The Franschhoek Bastille Festival Marquee will be set up next to the Franschhoek Huguenot Monument, with parking nearby. A number of Franschhoek restaurants will offer their cuisine, and Chef Marcus Continue reading →
The second AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction was held at Boschendal Wine Farm yesterday, and generated R10,5 million, exceeding its goal of monies to be raised at the prestigious event, which saw 34 wine estates offering very generous auction lots.
Bids could be made online, or in person at the Auction. Auction lots were donated by ‘Auction Ambassadors‘, with rare local and international wine collections, gourmet dinners, art, luxury cruises, and unique travel destinations. The Auction was preceded by a ‘Barrel Tasting & Preview‘ the evening before in what looked from photographs like a magical Dylan Lewis Continue reading →
‘Franschhoek Uncorked‘ has taken some time to take off, having been plagued by poor weather in the initial years. It has become a fun event on the Franschhoek events calendar, and now the seventh annual event attracts wine lovers to the village come rain or shine. This coming weekend (27 and 28 September) 21 wine estates will be attracting visitors to their farms, to show them how unique each of them is.
Each wine estate will offer tastings of their wines, included in the R120 fee for the weekend, foods for sale, some with art exhibitions, as well as musical entertainment, a unique offering by each farm.
The following wine farms will be showcased:
* Babylonstoren: wine and olive tastings, cellar tours, and a 3-course Pizza meal (R200)
* Noble Hill: Mexican foods, Hitichino Japanese craft beer, and wine tasting
* Rupert & Rothschild: tasting of Rupert & Rothschild wines as well as of Rothschild wines. Foods offered include French Continue reading →
For the first time in many years Cape Town has seen barely any restaurant closures this winter. There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers! An unusually high number of new restaurants have opened or will do so in the next month or two.
This list of restaurant openings and closings, restaurant staff movements, and winter holiday closures, is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.
* Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00 Monday – Friday.
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.
* Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is Continue reading →
Carlo Cracca. Antonio Carluccio. Gennaro Contaldo. Katy Ashworth. Emma Dean. Vichit Mukura. These are the ‘top international chefs’ Cape Town food lovers are being exposed to at the Good Food & Wine Show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, augmented with a handful of light-weight (with the exception of Chef David Higgs) mainly TV cooking program local cooks! As Cape Town is the centre of gourmet gastronomy, surely exhibition organisers Fiera Milano could have done better?
Christine Cashmore has organised the Good Food & Wine Show for years, and sold her company to Fiera Milano last year. She is certainly still involved, as I saw her at the show yesterday. She is tough to deal with, changing PR companies every year! Every year the criticism about the Show has grown, the big food producers no longer bothering to participate, and sample their products. The emphasis this year was clearly TV cooking shows, and the invited chefs (mainly) had a link to a TV program, in cooking at the Celebrity Chefs Theatre (how did Kamini Pather slip in here, as controversial winner of MasterChef Season 2?), the kykNET Kook Teater, the Spar Food Theatre, and the Selati Sweet Treats Theatre. Continue reading →
Last night I attended the first Tracy van Maaren Wines Trade Tasting, representing a handful of select fine boutique wine estates, held at Auslese. Each of the wine estate’s wines offered for tasting was personally paired with a canapé designed by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine.
Tracy started her wine career by working as PA to Dana Buys at Vrede en Lust. She then moved into the clothing industry, but regretted this move. She returned to the wine industry, working at Jordan. Almost nine years ago she started her company, her first wine clients being Vriesenhof, Raats, and Catherine Marshall. She represents her clients’ wines in the ‘mid to top restaurants’ and independent retailers (e.g. Caroline’s, Wine Concepts, and Vino Pronto) in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with Paarl and Franschhoek.
Auslese is a renovated house, available to rent for functions, about two blocks from Aubergine. It has a smallish kitchen, and the space was cleverly used to set up tasting tables for nine brands, with Pol Roger (Churchill’s favourite champagne) represented in the entrance hall by Great Domaines’ Derek Kilpin and their brand new French import Morgan Delacloche.
Arriving at about 18h30, there was no crush, and one could get to easily taste the wines and food pairings, chat to the wine representatives, and to the invited guests, which included John Maytham of Cape Talk, Mark Bland of Expresso, Mandi Jarman of Aquila, Chef Vanessa Marx and her colleague Rumby of Dear Me, Catharina’s Manager Ronel Smidt, sommelier and consultant Jörg Pfützner, John and Lynne Ford, and Mike Duggan of Wine Concepts. Continue reading →